Hello blog, I’ve been busy!
I am SO close to calling my new contemporary romance, my golf story, Fairway To Heaven, finished. So very close. I had hoped to get to The End before family Malone went on holiday… but I haven’t quite made it.
I am, however, way ahead of schedule. I didn’t think I’d be finished till February.
In the last week, the book has been in the hand of fellow authors, Jennie Jones, Juanita Kees, and the very soon to be published with Losing Kate (Random House), Kylie Kaden. They’re Beta reading for me, and they’re enjoying Fairway thus far.
With their suggestions, I’m almost halfway through edits. Chapter 13. It’s so tempting to take the laptop with me on holiday, however, I think this way also may lie divorce… (joking).
So I’ll be away for a few weeks, but I’d like to leave you with the first 1000 words of Fairway To Heaven—my golf romance about lust in the bunkers and love on the greens.
Enjoy. Stay safe and happy, and I’ll be back in touch soon.
Cheers, Lily M
Fairway To Heaven – Chapter 1.
By Lily Malone
Jack Bannerman likes the way my butt fills a pair of skinny jeans. I wish he didn’t. There’s a denim seam stuck in vaginal purgatory and no matter which way I squirm, it doesn’t want to budge. I’m getting squeezed in places no woman should ever be squeezed.
If Jack says I don’t make an effort, after today… I’ll. I’ll. I don’t know what I’ll do, but it won’t be pretty.
Spying a gap in the traffic, I gun the Corolla across the dual lanes. The car splutters, hops a bit, and shoots between the polished black gates of Sea Breeze Golf Club, into the shade of a solemn line of sheoaks.
They’ve changed the layout since I was here last, but that was months ago, no, longer than that. I haven’t hit a golf ball here since I was pregnant with Seb and swinging a club around my stomach was like swinging round a basketball.
There are speed bumps on the driveway now, humps big as whales, and I reduce speed. Who would have thought an exclusive golf course would attract your average hoon? They’re a conservative bunch here.
The Pro’s parking space—Jack’s designated space—used to be under the spreading branches of a London Plane Tree. Now his Subaru WRX is in a different spot, parked nearer the Pro Shop, divided from the bitumen and the billiard-table lawn by a low white-painted post and rail fence. Afternoon sun glints off the WRX’s metallic blue paint.
All the office-bearers have reserved places. Secretary. Treasurer. Captain. The only slot, other than Jack’s that’s currently filled, is President.
I’m not surprised the course isn’t busy. Jack says Thursday afternoon is dead. It’s late-night shopping in Perth and most of the members are under instruction to hurry home so their wives or girlfriends can hit the malls. That’s why Jack chose Thursdays for lessons, because the course is quiet.
The dashboard clock says five-thirty and a thrill rushes through me. I’ve got so much planned for tonight. Champagne on ice, Jack’s favourite dinner in the oven, and Sebastian is at Emmy’s for a sleepover.
If he wants to, Jack and I might hit a few balls down the twelfth, for old time’s sake. Though I’m hardly dressed for golf.
I cruise past a SAAB, then a Mercedes, turn the corner and double back, pass a couple of four-wheel-drives, one with the personalised license plate screaming HOLE IN 1. Who would buy a number plate like that?
Aiming the Corolla at a spot under the plane tree, I come in a little too fast. The tyres bump the kerb and recoil, and I wonder if that’s enough to get me kicked out for hoon behaviour.
I clamber out into the scent of cut grass, hot bitumen, and bore water from ticking sprinklers now splashing the greens, and as I shove the key in my pocket, I take a subtle second to ease denim from the centre of my butt.
The Pro Shop nestles under the right-hand wing of the club house. Unlike the more expansive glass and brick building, it’s got a skillion roof, and it’s only single story. The main path continues straight but I detour right, wobbling a little in Emmy’s Lady Janes as I circle a bed of bright red geraniums, orange pokers, and yellow daisies.
From the Pro Shop, I know Jack can see the carpark. Has he seen me? He could hear me—these heels would wake the dead.
I glance toward the Pro Shop door, half expecting Jack to be there, all lean and gorgeous, ready with a smart comment and a sexy smile.
The sign on the front door is flipped to Closed.
Shoving my sunglasses to the top of my head, I walk up to the Pro Shop door until my nose touches the glass. Nothing moves inside. I grab the door handle and push, then pull, and it doesn’t budge. Only then do I agree with what the sign already told me.
Pro Shop’s closed.
Two or three strands of blonde hair get yanked out as I lift the sunglasses from my head and put them back on my face.
Sometimes when he isn’t busy, Jack will take a bucket of balls up on the driving range. There is two-hundred metres of fairway lined with thick bush, not far from the Pro Shop. He takes a radio, and if a customer comes there’s a button on the door that says ‘press for the Pro’.
I don’t want to press his button. Today, surprise is the key.
The course opens before me, green, fresh, undulating like sheets in a breeze. It makes a wet sponge beneath my feet and in five steps, cut grass glues to Emmy’s shoes.
Kicking them off, I hook a finger under the heels.
The crack of someone teeing-off the fifteenth makes me look that way, but it’s not Jack. Two older men, silver-haired and bent, tuck their drivers in their golf bags and trudge away, pushing buggies up the hill.
Jack isn’t on the practice range. He isn’t anywhere and he’s hard to miss. Jack is six-foot-four. He hits a golf ball further than I can sprint without having a heart attack.
Maybe he’s helping a student hunt for balls in the bush. That happens. But I can’t hear any crunching of sticks or leaves, and there are no ‘found it’ shouts from the trees.
Then, in the shadows draped across the twelfth green I see the golf bag—Jack’s bag—complete with blazing Nike tick. He’s dropped a glove or a cleaning rag on the grass at the bunker’s edge. It shines lemony against the grass.
I open my mouth to call out, but years of ingrained etiquette stop me. So, veering from the practice range, I head diagonally for the bunker on the twelfth. There’s a visible line not far ahead marking the end of the sprinklers’ reach, and as I step from wet grass to dry, I look up to get my bearings.
That’s when my tummy does this flip-splat. Like an omelette tossed wrong.
Thanks for reading the start of Fairway To Heaven. I’d love to hear what you think. If you’d like to keep in touch with Fairway as it gets closer to publication, feel free to ‘like’ my Facebook page.